Tag archive for Generation of ’98 (RSS)

Josep Huguet, José Millán Astray and the death of intelligence

Posted: September 5th 2010 13:02. Last modified: September 5th 2010 15:09

With a sublime little parody of romantic nationalism from Camilo José Cela, who has his own particular view of this bothersome culture vs civilisation thing.

Spain, la gran puta

Posted: October 30th 2008 19:02. Last modified: October 30th 2008 18:58

There are various explanations of Spanish anti-Americanism. The post-colonial hypothesis is popular: Spain is bitter about its loss of empire, its defeat in 1898, its not being invited to the G-whatever. An alternative hypothesis is that anti-Americanism is frustration arising from the idea that an implicit bilateral dollars-for-favours deal has been violated. In Luis Berlanga, […]

Tapas bars, a British invention?

Posted: October 25th 2008 11:12. Last modified: October 25th 2008 11:15

This isn't about who invented bar snacks, or about why one particular gibber of Catalan nationalism should want to deny having invented them. Someone speculated drunkenly last night that, since tapas appears in English from the 1950s (C Salter in OED, "In Spain, when you order a drink in a bar.., you will always be […]

1908 driver’s-eye film of a Barcelona tram travelling from Paseo de Gracia via Salmerón (Gran), Lesseps, and República de Argentina to Graywinckel (Craywinckel)

Posted: August 18th 2008 18:24. Last modified: January 13th 2009 21:51

Here. The film is by the Barcelona film-maker, Ricardo de Baños, whose oeuvre, produced for an audience including Alfonso XIII, combined Barcelona storm scenes with early flamenco, as well as porn flicks like Consultorio de señoras and anti-Protestant erotica like El confesor. (BTW I wonder whether the otherwise excellent Ferdinand von Galitzien is not mistaken […]

Cooking with pigeons in Spain

Posted: July 19th 2008 13:26. Last modified: January 9th 2010 16:10

Yesterday in town it was remarked on the benefits to allkind that would accrue from exchanging our customary diet of Big Macs for one of roadkill and Fucking pigeon (what's the Latin?). Celtiberians consulted state that their race does not partake of the pigeon, and Juan Bautista Carrasco's Mitología universal (1864) suggests that this may […]

Get another of Paul de Kock’s

Posted: March 29th 2008 19:56. Last modified: January 9th 2010 16:10

Ulysses: "I suppose the people gave him that nickname going about with his tube from one woman to another." Junius Henri Browne wrote in 1873 that he "gained a much worse reputation [in the US] for licentious stories than he deserved, from the spurious and prurient rubbish that used to be put off on the […]

Literary feet

Posted: June 8th 2007 14:45. Last modified: June 8th 2007 14:59

"En Santander. El pez y el reloj" in Los pueblos, ducking out of eternity and the meaning of life, Azorín is fetishising feet at the Cantabrian beach resort: Little feet, arched and clad in elegant new shoes, are one of the most attractive features of a woman. I contemplate them all with the discretion with […]

Good judges

Posted: June 5th 2007 21:20. Last modified: June 8th 2007 14:31

I've always wondered where Spanish judges, particularly local ones, find justification for their habit of ignoring judicial precedent and ruling whatever the hell they feel like. Having read Azorín's Los pueblos (1904) yesterday evening, I think I'm getting closer. It contains the story of Don Alonso, a rural judge in Ciudad Real, who is presented […]

DRAE search made easy

Posted: January 16th 2007 17:38. Last modified: January 9th 2010 16:10

RAE 2.0 is a cool little gadget if you're sick of the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española's clunky interface: append the word you're after to the URL and http://rae2.es/abracadabra or http://rae2.es/abraxas or whatever. (Via JPQ)

“Prussian Jews wanted to come back to Spain in 1854”

Posted: October 26th 2006 23:35.

The story of the Moroccans with keys to houses in Granada is well known. La Cruz, The Cross, a Catholic periodical carried what sounds like a variant of this in 1854, claiming that Prussian Jews were about to petition the Spanish court to abolish the 1492 expulsion decree. Léon Carbonero y Sol wrote: In truth […]

Meaningless slogans

Posted: July 7th 2006 19:27. Last modified: July 7th 2006 19:56

This fragment from Pío Baroja's memoir, Desde la última vuelta del camino, reminded me of much contemporary Barcelona graffiti: As we approach Reinosa the fog begins to clear and we see the lights of the village shining. I awake in the morning and lean over the hotel balcony. A gray day; foggy and cold, in […]

Silvester Paradox meets Mr Macbeth

Posted: June 14th 2006 17:30. Last modified: January 16th 2012 01:14

This is the promised translation of the chapter in Pío Baroja's serialised novel The adventures, inventions and mystifications of Silvester Paradox / Aventuras, inventos y mixtificaciones de Silvestre Paradox (1901) in which Silvester takes up with an English conman, quack, amateur pugilist and exponent of inventions such as the translatoscope called Macbeth. The source is […]

Treatment of incontinence

Posted: June 13th 2006 19:14. Last modified: January 9th 2010 16:11

It may not have worked, but nineteenth century medicine often sounds rather fun. This from An Epitome of Braithwaite's Retrospect of practical medicine and surgery (1860): M. Lallemand, of Montpellier, has great confidence in aromatic bitters, to which a small portion of brandy has been added, followed by active friction of the loins... As internal […]

More churchy coppers

Posted: December 8th 2005 18:36. Last modified: May 28th 2006 20:45

Re shepherds, Pío Baroja says that in the Navarre village inhabited by Silvester Paradox, hero of The adventures, inventions and mystifications of Silvester Paradox (Aventuras, inventos y mixtificaciones de Silvestre Paradox, 1901) that the local guardians of public order were called ministers (ministros). (Silvestre Paradox is very strange and very funny. It's a disgrace that […]

Ahistorical Albacete

Posted: September 28th 2005 13:17. Last modified: June 8th 2007 14:37

Unlike Carlos, I'm actually rather fond of Albacete, and not just because its ugliness is on a smaller scale than Birmingham's. Although generally more energy tends to be devoted to damnation than to praise, I found out the other night, flicking through a book called Historia de la provincia de Albacete, that I'm not the […]


Posted: September 23rd 2005 21:12. Last modified: May 13th 2008 20:13

Thanks for the concerned mails. The cooperative gave us the day off, so I'm able to report that, far from being drunk or dead, I am in fact drownded, and that neither in the Jesus Sea, nor in the Odys-sea, but in the rippling Manchegan earthsea, where gypsies wear latex and smell of Eau de […]

Albacete / Birmingham / New York

Posted: September 15th 2005 12:23. Last modified: July 8th 2013 13:49

In Amor se escribe sin hache (Amor is written without H, 1929), "an almost cosmopolitan novel," Enrique Jardiel Poncela describe Birmingham as "the Albacete of the United Kingdom." Not to be outdone, José Martínez Azorín (who also gave the Generation of 98 its name) baptised Albacete "the New York of La Mancha." That all this […]

The worms crawled in and the worms crawled out

Posted: May 7th 2005 12:52. Last modified: January 16th 2012 01:11

Towards the end of La colmena (The hive), Cela's portrait of a post-war Madrid devoid of heroes and on the brink of oblivion, The morning ascends, little by little, climbing like a worm through the hearts of the men and the women of the city. This reminds me of the episode in Pío Baroja's morbid […]

Galdós and those spud-crazy guiris

Posted: March 14th 2005 22:39. Last modified: January 16th 2012 00:22

Where did he get that vernacular?

El Barça, Franco’s favourite team?

Posted: January 2nd 2005 16:04. Last modified: May 21st 2009 21:48

There is no statistical evidence for claims that the Franco government worked for Real Madrid and against Barça.


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